About the Group
Past and present
The High Temperature Processes and Industrial Ecology (HiTemp) has evolved from the Thermodynamics in Materials Engineering (Thermo) research group (1996-2011). The original scope of the ThermoGroup:
Thermodynamic analysis relates to the equilibrium state of materials and materials systems to macroscopic variables such as pressure, temperature, composition and stress. Combined with experimental observations of phases and the measurement of their composition, it creates the framework to understand materials and processes and presents opportunities to improve materials properties and processes used in materials production. Materials and processes, however, are seldom in a state of equilibrium. It is therefore essential to also study phenomena such as reactions, diffusion, segregation and solidification that bridge the gap between equilibrium and non-equilibrium states. It is in this broad domain that the group is active with theoretical and experimental research in both basic and applied subjects.
has been maintained, albeit that the focus has moved fully to high temperature processing research in the framework of sustainable materials management. This is translated in multidisciplinary research project in cooperation with K.U.Leuven (SIM2@KULeuven) and international academic and industrial partners to improve current metals production systems, to research and develop metal recovery schemes and to engineer and transform high temperature process residus to increase their applicability.
To shape our future society
Through innovative research in high temperature processes and industrial ecology
With a problem-driven science-deep approach
While having fun in style
The transition towards resource efficient, low-carbon closed-loop economies is an urgent necessity as our world is facing unstable but rising fossil energy prices, resource shortages and unprecedented environmental challenges. In the EU in particular the prospect of insufficient and often critical raw materials (metals and minerals) will hamper further economic development.
For example, the attempts to increase the share of wind energy, solar power and electric transportation will face a shortage of critical metals for the production of batteries, PV-panels and strong magnets. New technologies are required to better separate metals and minerals from leaner ores and secondary materials. The advanced treatment of secondary raw materials is part of Belgium’s strength in recycling and contributes to the vision of closed loop processes. Companies and policymakers are starting to incite universities and research institutes to increase their efforts in this field as they recognize the urgency of the transition to Sustainable Materials Management (SMM).
K.U.Leuven and its researchers are acting to take the lead in this development and to create the scientific insights to support technological innovations for the transition to SMM. The High Temperature Processes and Industrial Ecology (HiTemp) group is fully engaged in this vision. Its mission is to help create a sustainable society through scientific and technological contributions in the area of high temperature processing and industrial ecology, while having fun in style.